Budd Poem by Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler


Rating: 3.2

he woke early as he always did
on a damp January day
his wife was already awake
down in the kitchen
cutting up a banana
for his cereal
he stretched, cleared his throat
and peered out the window
the lights of the adjacent homes
flickered on sporadically
as his neighbours set about
their morning routines
the heavy unmarked manila envelope
sat neatly in his open briefcase
on his uncluttered desk

he ambled over to the closet, took out a crisp
white shirt and laid it on the bed
he took out a pair of trousers, still warm
from his wife’s ironing, and laid them
on the bed with the shirt
he thumbed thru his tie rack like they were
the pages of his autobiography
and noticed patterns in their designs
he had not noticed before
he picked out his favourite tie
the same one he had worn the previous night
whilst out to a quiet dinner with his family
and laid it across the white shirt
it was a good tie, the perfect page, he thought
to write his spectacular epilogue

he sat at his desk and stared for a moment
at the blank sheets of paper he had set out after dinner
he picked up a pen and began writing
he considered typing these letters on his computer
it certainly would have taken less time
but time was not so much a concern anymore
seems we all rush around, he thought
to hurry up and die
his wife peeked into the bedroom and
asked him if he was coming downstairs
be down in a minute, honey
she paused and smiled at him
and disappeared with a turn
he dropped the stuffed envelopes into the briefcase
and latched it closed

as he washed his face he caught
a glimpse of himself in the mirror
suddenly he realized he had grown older
right before his eyes
his face hung loose from his cheeks
his belly was round
even the chest hair sprouting
from under his wrinkled t-shirt was gray
the top of his bald head reflected
the harsh bathroom light
but he still felt as fresh
as he did in college
running up the field
to score the winning touchdown
he smiled at his sagging reflection
he had lived well
for growing so old
as good as his health was
he made a mental note
to be sure to have his organs
donated after he had gone
he flipped the bathroom light off
and headed downstairs to breakfast
as his busy neighbours’ cars
roared out of their yawning garages and joined
the rush hour traffic


Even in our 30's, or 40's, Jake, my Love....we feel it comin', don't we? This is a fabulous write. Thanks for sharing your naked heart with us...the rest of you we will just have to fantasize about.

0 0 Reply
Gina PrettyBrownEyes 28 July 2006

this one flows together perfectly. like a story only better cuz you dont have to bother with evil punctuation and grammer. you should write stories, youd be good at it. you seem to be chock full of little stories, every poem is a story. yay you!

0 0 Reply
Max Reif 06 January 2006

Thumbing through the ties like pages of his autobiography is really good! Your narrative flow is excellent. Finishing the 2nd stanza, the thought came to me, 'Something is going to HAPPEN! ', something dramatic, I mean. But nothing dramatic does. I still find some merit in this 'slice of life', and it may be a new kind of piece for you, and taking steps into new territory is always a positive move. I just read it again, and I wonder, IS he going to commit suicide? Is that what epilogue means? There are other possible foreshadowings, for example the fact that he's typing 'letters' instead of, say, a work of poetry or fiction. But there's not quite enough said for me to be confident making that leap. I do feel you have a talent for narrative writing, though, Jacob. I agree with my Hound friend, if you tried your hand at narrative fiction (which you may already do, as far as I know, and which is not to denigrate THIS piece) , you may come up with spectacular stories and/or novels.

0 0 Reply
Joseph Daly 06 January 2006

I'm inclined to agree with Hound and Mary. This has an edge-of-your-seat feel to it, Jake, and I query it as a poem. It is a narrative prose, but it is prose that is left unfinished. The power of observation is certainly there, but without a continuance it lacks any meaning. It's effect is not bad, and you show, in this piece, that you have the ability to be a strong writer. Go on, commit youself. Write a novel!

0 0 Reply
Mary Nagy 05 January 2006

I agree with Poetry Hound.....I want to know why did he sense the end so strongly? Was he planning suicide? Was he just feeling the clock ticking? This was great.........very interesting Jake. I loved the details....the warm pants, the thumbing through the ties....great poem! Sincerely, Mary

0 0 Reply
Poetry Hound 05 January 2006

Okay Jake, I'm ready to read the rest of it. Seriously, this is a good start to a short story or even a novel. I'm waiting for the character development, plot twists, dialogue, and perfect ending. You should be writing longer stuff. You're definitely talented enough.

0 0 Reply
Error Success